I can't remember the first time I heard about zero waste, but I bet you within a week after that I saw my first photo of someone who had saved a year's worth of trash in a mason jar. It seems to be a marker and prize for how far people have come on their zero waste journey. Well, you won't see that here. Why? Because we still have a full size trash can that we fill up regularly! It would take us less than a week to fill a Mason jar.
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I have already made some changes that will create less waste, but we still produce a fair amount of trash. Currently we have two trash cans that are slightly smaller than 13 gallons in our kitchen. One is for recycling and the other is for trash. We also have a compost bin for organic materials. Our recycle bin gets filled up every week and our trash bin would probably take 2 weeks to fill up, but it sometimes starts to stink so we take it out roughly once a week.
Our outside trash can, the one that we take to the curb holds 4 or 5 of our kitchen trash bags so I would say we take it out to the curb 1-2 times a month. Pensacola has weekly trash and yard debris service. You either take their weekly service or have no service at all. I know some locations allow you to be more flexible with your garbage pickup. Portland, Oregon is set up where you have weekly composting pickup and monthly or bi-monthly garbage pick up.
There are obviously places that we can improve further. We make a solid effort to make sure all organic material goes into the compost bin and that recyclable material goes into the recycle bin, but I'm sure there are some of those items still ending up in the trash. We also don't always shop with disposal in mind. We buy the packaged food and honestly that is probably where most of our trash comes from.
So while I'm not going to stun you with pictures of my trash in a mason jar, I am going to help push you (and me!) to make smarter decisions that result in less waste and lower impact on the environment. How much trash do you make?
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